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Founder of Design Haus Liberty
It was only a couple of months ago that Prestige first featured Dara Huang, the Chinese-American architect who, as founder of Design Haus Liberty, has been shaking up Hong Kong’s design scene. “It seemed to make sense to us to get more ingrained with the Asian scene, since there was so much interest in high design,” she says.
Working with brands with strict corporate diktats and located in different time zones isn’t easy, but Huang focuses on the best parts of being an architect. “We’re currently starting retail-space projects with LVMH, and working with fashion brands and companies across greater China and Hong Kong,” she says. “This includes three major brands and 1,200 stores in total.”
She’s also starting work on a 50-storey headquarters-space project for a fashion company, which has its own runway galleries, art galleries, sculpture gardens, day-care, gyms and high-end restaurants and bars. Also in her current portfolio are residential developments on The Peak, including single-family houses.
Asked whether being a woman was a challenge when starting her business, Huang answers in the contrary. “By nature, women are much better at reading emotion, which makes us good deal-and relationship-makers.” When she founded her company in 2013, the idea was simple – to recruit young and experienced talents and give them room to exercise their imaginations.
“When the platform was created,” Huang says, “it became much easier for women to be heard over men. We have the ability to command the attention of a room – and the more confidence we project the more that men pay attention to us.” Cheers to being able to stand out and make a real difference in the boardroom.
Of course, her work comes with huge perks. Huang, who just got back from a conference in Phuket, manages to travel the world for pleasure as well as work. “Whether I’m away on holiday or for work,” she says, “most of my trips have been to places that are absolutely stunning and beautiful. When you travel, you’re immersing yourself in another culture and context, and that’s incredibly inspiring.”